Stanford Rally Late, But Still Fall To Huskies.
Oct. 28, 2000
STANFORD, Calif. -- The Washington Huskies had an unbelievable answerfor the Cardiac Cardinal.
Justin Robbins caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Marques Tuiasosopo with17 seconds left as the No. 9 Huskies blew an 18-point lead with six minutes toplay and then drove 80 yards in the closing seconds to beat Stanford 31-28 onSaturday.
Playing in a driving rain, Washington (7-1, 4-1 Pac-10) nearly became thethird team to suffer a last-minute loss at Stanford Stadium this year. Instead,the Huskies came from behind for the sixth time in their seven victories.
The Cardinal put themselves in position to win by recovering three onsidekicks - one was negated by a penalty - in the final minutes and scoring threeelectrifying late touchdowns. Stanford had just 178 yards of total offenseuntil racking up 170 more in its final three drives.
Stanford quarterback Randy Fasani rushed for two TDs, including a 2-yardbootleg with 53 seconds to play, and passed for another in the final 5:23 asthe Cardinal (3-5, 2-3) looked for their second win over a Top 10 team thisyear.
But Tuiasosopo, who got 80 of his 216 yards passing on the final drive,marched the Huskies down the field with three long completions after scramblingout of the pocket. The final touchdown came on a broken play as Tuiasosopostumbled toward the Stanford sideline and picked out Robbins all alone in theend zone.
Stanford beat Texas and USC earlier this year on last-second scores at home.Fasani, who was knocked out of both of Stanford's previous last-second winswith knee injuries, stuck around for this one - and he was phenomenal, passingfor 166 yards and rushing for 65.
Third-string tailback Willie Hurst had a 22-yard touchdown run with 5:57 toplay that put Washington up 24-6 and seemed to seal the game. But the fireworkswere only beginning.
Stanford scored its first touchdown of the game 34 seconds after Hurst'srun. A 60-yard pass to Luke Powell was followed by a 4-yard TD pass to DeRonniePitts, who also caught a 2-point conversion pass from Fasani.
The Cardinal recovered two onside kicks - the first was erased by anoffsides penalty - and Fasani led a 58-yard drive that featured a desperate14-yard diving catch by Pitts on fourth-and-11 and was capped by Fasani's4-yard TD keeper with 2:33 to play.
Stanford then recovered yet another onside kick at Washington's 48. Huskiescoach Rick Neuheisel screamed at his players as they left the field, but he wasdrowned out by the small and soaked - but vocal - Stanford crowd.
Fasani, looking more like an option quarterback than Tuiasosopo ever did onSaturday, got Stanford to the Huskies' 6 with 1:59 to play on a dangerous30-yard scramble through the heart of the Washington defense. He rushed for 6more yards with a minute to play and then scored the go-ahead TD on a nakedbootleg.
But Tuiasosopo needed just three plays to put Washington on top. He hit ToddElstrom for 27 yards and Wilbur Hooks for 31 yards, then passed to Robbins forthe game-winner.
The victory kept Washington (7-1, 4-1 Pac-10) one game behind Oregon for thePac-10 lead. The Huskies' win was tempered by the loss of safety CurtisWilliams, who was removed from the field on a stretcher late in the thirdquarter with a neck injury.
Hurst, a junior who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in the first two yearsof his career but was bumped down the depth chart by Paul Arnold and RichAlexis this year, had 96 yards rushing and two TDs. He seemed to be the onlyplayer able to find his footing on the soaked grass until the final minutes.
Elstrom had six catches for 94 yards, while Pitts caught eight passes -including the 200th of his career - for 71 yards.
Stanford (3-5, 2-3) lost for the fourth time in five games and has only amathematical chance of defending its Pac-10 title. The Cardinal must win theirfinal three games against UCLA, Arizona State and California even to qualifyfor a bowl.By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer